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Douglas Cardinal to Design Carleton’s Aboriginal Centre


October 2, 2012
by Canadian Architect

Carleton University’s Centre for Aboriginal Culture and Education (CACE) is delighted to announce that renowned Canadian architect Douglas Cardinal will design a new Aboriginal centre on campus.

The Aboriginal centre will be located in Paterson Hall and will open next year, a bit later than planned. Carleton is excited to work with Mr. Cardinal and the project will be well worth the wait.

As a master builder, Douglas Cardinal’s life has been dedicated to creating beautiful, thriving harmonious environments. He is famous for flowing architecture marked with smooth lines, influenced by his Aboriginal heritage, as well as European Expressionist architecture.

He designed the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, as well as the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, opposite Parliament Hill.

“I consider it a privilege to serve Carleton University on the Paterson Hall Aboriginal centre project,” he says. “I will use my extensive knowledge of traditional and contemporary Aboriginal culture as I seek to bring the university’s vision for the centre into reality.

“As much as possible, I will incorporate symbols and sculptural forms into the space that reflect the First Nations worldview and, in the end, I hope to have a space that will create a better understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal culture within the university setting.”

Born in 1934 in Calgary, Cardinal’s architectural studies at the University of British Columbia led him to Austin, Texas, where he gained life experience in human rights initiatives as well as an architecture degree. He embraced the philosophies of sustainability, green buildings and ecologically designed community planning.

Mr. Cardinal has received many national and international awards, including 14 honorary doctorates, an Officer of the Order of Canada and Gold Medals of Architecture in Canada and Russia. He was declared the “World Master of Contemporary Architecture” by the International Association of Architects.

Carleton’s Aboriginal centre is the latest in its efforts to become a noted centre for Aboriginal learning and innovative research. The university has adopted an Aboriginal Co-ordinated Strategy which seeks to welcome more Aboriginal students to campus, increase our partnerships with Aboriginal communities and include indigenous knowledge in teaching wherever possible. Carleton is dedicated to simultaneously recognizing the history of First Nations, Inuit and Métis in Canada, as well as the contemporary contributions and realities of Aboriginal peoples.


douglas cardinal
douglas cardinal


Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada's only monthly design publication, Canadian Architect has been in continuous publication since 1955.
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